California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Bill Lyons was in the Imperial Valley on Wednesday to meet with local farmers and tour the Brawley Beef plant.
Lyons was on his way to the AgriBaja exposition today in Mexicali but wanted to talk about the state's "Buy California" program, which promotes California-grown agricultural products.
Lyons, who managed a ranch in Modesto for more than 20 years, said he was impressed with the way business and community leaders worked together to bring the Brawley Beef plant to the county.
He said he was struck by the plant's cutting-edge technology, commitment to food safety, cleanliness and quality.
The same quality is the focus of the state's "Buy California" program.
Lyons said preliminary studies show people will buy produce if they know it is from California, even if it is a little more expensive than other produce, because they know its grown to a higher standard of safety.